New Campaign Spoofs Suncor’s “What Yes Can Do” Green PR Blitz

A new website launched today by the corporate accountability group asks ordinary Canadians to take a closer look at oilsands major Suncor's latest ad campaign, "What Yes Can Do."

By launching their own version of the ad campaign at, is questioning the disparity between "what yes can do" as Suncor puts it, and "what yes has done" in the Alberta oilsands. points out Suncor's green ad campaign, which emphasizes the corporation's efforts to preserve "…an environment for generations to come," doesn't square with the company's own lobbying effort to limit protections for the Athabasca River. 

More than five years ago, a panel of experts recommended an end to water withdrawals from the Athabasca River during certain times of the year, when water levels are at their lowest. The cut-off would protect fish hatchlings and other aquatic life from dying off during low river flow.

All companies operating in the Alberta oilsands agreed to the recommended cut-off, but Suncor, along with Syncrude, are lobbying the Alberta government for an exemption

Suncor's overall water consumption continues to increase, as the alternative "What Yes Can Do" website reports:

"Suncor claims it takes water consumption seriously and says it has drastically lowered its overall water withdrawals. In reality, its water consumption continues to climb. In 2012, its water use increased by 20 percent over…the previous year according to records contained in the Oil Sands Information Portal. By 2017, consumption is expected to further increase by 47 percent based on aggressive expansion plans."

Campaign video from official Suncor "What Yes Can Do" website.

Spoof "What Yes Can Do" video launched by's alternative campaign brings the pleasantries of corporate advertising into stark contrast with the difficult reality of oilsands development as it affects local water, the industrialization of the boreal forest, vanishing local caribou populations, and First Nation's treaty rights

It turns out what 'yes can do' is complex and acheiving our clean energy ambitions is going to involve meaningful carbon-emission reductions policies, responsible industrial growth that respects First Nations' rights and ways of life, and evidence-based decision making from the industrial to the governmental level. And it will take us a lot more than just saying 'yes' to get there.

Carol Linnitt is a journalist, editor, illustrator and co-founder of The Narwhal. Carol has been reporting on energy and environmental…

War on the waters: salmon farms losing battle with sea lice as wild fish pay the price

There was a sight for sore eyes in late July off the coast of Tofino, when a Dutch-built, Vancouver-registered 30-metre barge, Salar, was towed out...

Continue Reading

Recent Posts